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Soviet Naval Battles - Russian Republic (Dual Power) in 1917

POST REPLY
Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 22 Aug 2018, 17:34
With the February Revolution in March 1917 (at the time Russia used the different Julian calendar) and the return of Lenin from his exile, it begun the process that lead the formation of the Soviet Union. Between February and November (October Revolution) 1917, the power in Russia co-shared between the Petrograd Soviet and the Provisional Government of the Russian Republic. The fleet was nominally under control of the dual power; however, it was effectively under control of the ships’ soviets due the high politicization of the crew. During this period, the Fleet engaged the Imperial Germany and the Ottoman Empire.

While the Fleet did not officially sailed under red Soviet flags, the Soviet Navy fully claimed the legacy of this naval warfare (motivated by the actual siding of Soviets of ships’ sailors) and dedicated literature on it.




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BALTIC FLEET


8 March 1917
Beginning of the February Revolution


16 March 1917
Ends of the February Revolution with the establishment of the Russian Republic under dual control of Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet.


28 May 1917
Russian submarine Bars lost for unknown causes, probably mine.
Image

Photo of submarine Bars in 1915: she was lead-ship of her class, the largest, capable and most numerous Russian WWI submarines.


Unclear date of 1917
Russian submarine Tigr made two campaign in 1917: Russian sources claim she sunk 2 targets with gunfire and 2 targets with mines, this is so far unconfirmed.
NOTE: Differently from claim by submarine Morzh in Black Sea over small schooners, no major German merchant sunk during these operations, still possibly Tigr targeted trawlers.
Image

Photo off Tigr, of Bars-class.


11 June 1917
Russian submarine Lvitsa lost for unknown causes, probably mine.


6 July 1917
Russian submarine AG-14 sunk probably by mine.
Image

Photo of AG-14. Survivors of the "American Holland" class, would serve in the Soviet Navy during WW2 in Black Sea.


30 July 1917
Russian torpedo boat Leytenant Bukarov sunk by mines in the Gulf of Riga. Sometimes unfairly rated as “destroyer”.
Mine reportedly laid by German submarine UC-78 off Aaland Islands (also date is reported as 12 August).
Image

Photo of sister-ship Likhoy.


15 August 1917
Russian torpedo boat Stroynyy attacked by three German FF-41 floatplanes in the Gulf of Riga, grounded and wrecked.
Image

Photo of sister-ship Delnyy


26 September 1917
Russian torpedo boat Okhotnik sunk in Irben Straits on German mine.
Image

Photo of sister-ship Pogranichnik: one survivor of the class would serve as gunboat in Ladoga Lake during WW2


6 October 1917
German old torpedo boat T-54 (ex- S-54) sunk by mines.


7 October 1917
German minesweeper M-31 sunk on mines off Latvia.
Image

Sister-ship M-39: minesweepers of large size and numerous class.



12 October 1917
Beginning of the Moon Sound Operation: the German Navy action to occupy the Baltic States attacking from the Gulf of Riga.
Overall, the German Navy employed a considerable force of 10 battleships (most of them modern dreadnaught), 11 cruisers, 50 destroyers and torpedo boats and 6 submarines.
The Russian Navy possessed only 2 old pre-dreadnaught battleships, 3 cruisers, 3 large gunboats, 21 destroyers and torpedo boats.
Russian warships actively laid numerous fields of naval mines.
On the first day of operations, German battleship Bayern heavily damaged by mine in the Gulf of Riga, while the battleship Grosser Kurfürst suffered less serious damage.
Image

Photo of Bayern. Damaging two battleship was a good success but did not prevented the German advance and invasion of Baltic countries.
Bayern-class (only two ships) was more powerful than the König class (four ships, including Grosser Kurfürst)



14 October 1917
Russian destroyer Grom sunk in action during battle with German units in Moon Sound after hits from German battleship Kaiser.
A boarding party from German destroyer B-98 briefly boarder the abandoned sinking ship and raised the German flag but the ship abandoned due her status.
Soviet historiography long believed a sailor remained on the ship intentionally igniting an explosion to hit the German boarding party.
Image

Photo of destroyer Grom.


17 – 18 October 1917
Battle of Moon Sound
The battle of Moon Sound was the peak of the naval campaign centered in the Gulf of Riga: the German Navy aimed to take control of the Gulf and islands to occupy the Baltic States.
At the same time, the Russian forces were politically split but the decision to face in battle the German was pressed on by the sailors soviets (despite awareness of little chances of victory) because the growing fear of a German intervention against Petrograd Soviet.
The battle was the only instance in the naval warfare history when socialist or communist manned battleship faced similar opponents in direct gunnery battle.
Two Russian pre-dreadnaught battleships, Slava and Grazhdanin faced the more powerful and modern dreadnaught battleships König and Kronprinz.
Russian battleship Slava badly damaged by German battleship König after multiple hits: she blown-up by crew to avoid capture (Russian torpedo boat Turkmenets-Stavropolskiy also torpedoed her) and intentionally blocking the northern route to exit the Gulf of Riga. Grazhdanin suffered two hits from enemy fire. In the last stage of the action, battleship König also scored one hit on Russian armored cruiser Bayan.
Image

Impressive photo of Slava in crippled conditions before her ultimate loss. Her sacrifice was later praised by Soviet Navy' historiography due allegiance of crew to the Soviet cause.


18 October 1917
German destroyer S-54 and the smaller German old torpedo boat T-66 (ex- S-66) sunk by mine.


26 October 1917
German old torpedo boat T-65 (ex- S-65) sunk by mines.


28 October 1917
Russian submarine Gepard lost for unknown causes, probably mine.
Image

Photo of Gepard.


29 October 1917
German battleship Markgraf damaged by Russian mine in the Gulf of Riga.
Image

General design of König class battleships (four units: König, Grosser Kurfürst, Kronprinz, Markgraf). Two units of the class suffered damages by mine in operations, but two (including the lead-ship) proved a significant advantage for the German Navy during the clash with the Russian pre-dreadnaught.

7 November 1917
October Revolution
Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 22 Aug 2018, 17:37
BLACK SEA


8 March 1917
Beginning of the February Revolution


16 March 1917
Ends of the February Revolution with the establishment of the Russian Republic under dual control of Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet.


1 April 1917
Russian submarine Morzh sunk with gunfire an unidentified Turkish schooner at Bosphorus (Russian claim).


11 April 1917
Russian submarine Morzh sunk with gunfire an unidentified Turkish schooner at Bosphorus (Russian claim).


30 April 1917
Russian submarine Morzh shelled and sunk with gunfire four unidentified Turkish schooners, suffering an attack by enemy seaplane but with no direct damage.
NOTE: currently all Morzh claims after the February Revolution remain unconfirmed on Western/Turkish sources, but they appears likely.


4 May 1917
Russian submarine Morzh possibly damaged by hits from Turkish coastal battery. Turks claimed sinking, but recovery of wreck disclosed loss for mine. It is still possible that Morzh suffered unspecified damages from the enemy attack.


5 May 1917
Russian submarine Morzh sunk by mine. Discovery of wreck in 2002 allowed identification of loss’ cause.
Before her loss, Morzh was notable for being an extremely active submarine in Black Sea.
(NOTE: In western sources, the submarine often reported just as missing in action).
Image

Photo of submarine Morzh in 1915:


30 June 1917
Russian torpedo boat Leytenant Zatsaryonnyy sunk on mines at Fedosya.
Image

Photo of ship before her loss.


12 October 1917
Russian submarine Gagara shelled and damaged Turkish merchant Vatan (516 GRT).
This is so far the only submarine victory scored by Russians after the February Revolution.


30 October 1917
Battle of Igneada
Russian destroyers Bystry and Pylkiy with support of seaplanes made an attack against the port (at border with Bulgaria) and sunk Turkish torpedo boat Hamidabad. This small victory was the only victory with gunnery achieved by a Russian warship after the February Revolution.
Image

Turkish sister-ship Sultanhisar.


7 November 1917
October Revolution
Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 22 Aug 2018, 17:38
BARENTS SEA area:


8 March 1917
Beginning of the February Revolution


16 March 1917
Ends of the February Revolution with the establishment of the Russian Republic under dual control of Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet.


9 May 1917
Russian midget-submarine n°1 sunk.
There are no details about the actions and the loss of this unit (Holland type).


7 November 1917
October Revolution
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